One of the most annoying aspects of my job is having to deal with people who do not know where they live. I don’t mean that I have to deal with people who are so stupid that they can’t remember they’re own address (although that does happen).
I’m refering to people who live in out-of-the-way rural areas in the back end of nowhere, with addresses like “Lancelot Cottage, Upper Camelot, ST20 0NG”.
That postcode is real, even though the rest of the address isn’t.
The problem is that people assume that because their mail gets to them, everyone else will be able to find them too. Because the postie knows where they live, automatically everyone else knows too.
In reality, however, things are a lot different.
Rural postcodes are no use at all for finding properties. The example given above, ST20 0NG, covers about eight square miles and nine roads, six of which don’t actually have names.
This can be a right pain in the arse for taxi drivers, and a threat to life if an ambulance is ever required.
So, what alternatives are there for identifing your address?
Well there is always the good old Latitude and Longitude system, but that seems a bit faffy and involves numbers (which most people are hopeless at remembering – Test: recite your own mobile number now).
An alternative is WhatThreeWords, a thing that gives you an easy three word code to locate your house with 3 metres. For example, the front door of the boozer I use is “firmly.tuna.fixed”, and my favourite curry place is “basket.last.such”.
Another idea would be to register your out-of-the-way cottage with some organisation that could then provide directions to it.
And yes, I’m working on an alpha version of this.